Long-running West End plays you can see in the capital today
While West End plays vary in tone and story, a must-see hit will stick around longer than its counterparts. Here are some of the longest-running West End plays ever to run and just why they were so successful in appealing to London audiences. Take a read of the longest-running musicals ever in London.
Iconic West End plays
The Woman in Black (7th June 1989 – current)
Opening in June 1989, The Woman in Black continues to scare audiences as the ghost story written by Susan Hill came to life in this stage adaptation. While there may only be two cast members, its combination of horror, ghostly goings-on and impeccable acting continues to entertain audiences today.
In the play, Arthur Kipps travels to Eel Marsh House to settle the estate of Mrs Alice Drabow after her death. Discovering a box of letters, the secret of the Woman in Black comes to light, and the whole estates becomes a little bit spookier.
The production has played in four London theatres, before residing at the Fortune Theatre where it has enjoyed a continuous run at the venue since August 1989. Originally labelled as a “Christmas ghost story”, audiences enjoy the thrilling play year-round.
The Mousetrap (25th November 1952 – current)
Making its premiere in 1952 and still running to this day, not only is The Mousetrap the longest-running play in the West End but the longest-running production in the world! Celebrating over 27,500 performances and watched by Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip, Agatha Christie’s story from the golden age of detective fiction is a beloved show in London.
In the show, five guests arrive at a country hotel to later find out there’s a murderer on the loose. This relaxing time away turns into solving out the murderer’s identity, where the guests are later examined to find out who the killer is. Solving the crime, audiences are asked not to reveal who the killer is, so the play isn’t spoiled. Want to know who the murderer is? You’ll need to book your ticket for this show that’s over 65 years old.
Since 23rd March 1974, The Mousetrap audiences have come to the St Martin’s Theatre to become a part of West End history and watch the show that thoroughly deserves its title as the longest-running play in the West End.